Guest Contributor Roma Khetarpal, Author of The “Perfect” Parent, 5 Tools for Using Your Inner Perfection to Connect with Your Kids.
Morning tantrums, power struggles, bad behavior, homework not turned in, sibling fights, bedtime negotiations…does it ever end? Welcome to parenting, day in day out! How can I possibly stay positive and tuned in through all of this? is a question that parents ask me all the time.
The key for parents is to turn the above-mentioned communication breakdowns into communication breakthroughs. How do you do that? In order to answer that, let’s explore the three main elements of communication:
Thought + Feelings –> Expressions
What we say and do is fired up by our thoughts and feelings. In order to enhance communication, our thoughts and feelings should be in balance—one cannot overwhelm the other. I call this the Communication Balance.
When it comes to children, however, their expressions are predominantly fueled by their emotions. When their emotions run high, it is impossible for them to think rationally and, hence, behave rationally. In other words, to help children make sense of a situation and foster better communication, using a little emotional intelligence will help parents save the day, every time!
Before we get started, let me say there is groundbreaking science behind this. This tool is based on the principles of Emotional Intelligence researched and advocated by Dr. Daniel Goleman, a pioneer in that field.
Dealing with the Feeling—Spot It, Say It, Okay It
Now let’s walk through these steps one at a time:
1. Spot it— Spot the feeling (For example, “My child is feeling angry right now.”)
2. Say it— Say the feeling out loud (“I know you are angry at your brother.”)
3. Okay it— Okay the feeling; validate it (“It’s okay to be angry at him. I understand how you’re feeling. If my brother broke my favorite car, I would be angry too.”)
Now you’re ready to resolve.
Once you have taken these steps to turn down the heat of your child’s emotions, you have a better chance to get through to him or her.
Dealing with the Feeling allows kids to put their own feelings in perspective by helping them identify their emotions and validate them.
Think about it, if you are angry and someone says to you, “I can see that you are furious, and I completely understand where you’re coming from…,” wouldn’t that help calm you down? These simple steps are a surefire way to pacify emotions and engage the intellect, so that kids can start to think clearly.
And if you think you are too upset to take these rational steps, practice a little Dealing with the Feeling yourself and experience the benefits at first hand! What we call emotional intelligence is simply the ability to recognize and understand our own feelings and those of others. Keep in mind that emotionally intelligent parents raise emotionally intelligent children. And the more often you practice it, the better results you get. Making it a communication habit is key! Also, research tells us that by instilling emotional intelligence in our children, we set them up for academic success, social success, and life success. It’s every parent’s dream come true!
As for tuning in to your children—staying “mindful” through the frenzy of emotions—that’s a matter of simply paying attention and focusing on the issue at hand. When you practice Dealing with the Feeling, you are paying close attention, tuning in, and focusing on the emotions your kids are experiencing. And that leads to longstanding good communication habits with your children. What could be better?
This tool is extracted from Chapter 1, Honorable Parenting, from The “Perfect” Parent, 5 Tools for Using Your Inner Perfection to Connect with Your Kids. In The “Perfect” Parent, author Roma Khetarpal explains that the key to a fulfilling parenting experience is to stop chasing an ideal and instead use your inner perfection to nurture a strong, communicative connection with your children—which will lead them to be happy, think positive, and do good. To learn more, please visit Tools of Growth. Book now available for purchase on Amazon and other bookstores.
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